Earlier this spring we started on a big project to re-do our porch. Since we moved in two years ago we haven’t really been able to take advantage of the large, covered porch off our den because its always so dirty. It is one of those spaces that collects junk and because its covered it attracts chickens so its always filthy from them. And when we did sit out there to enjoy a cool summer evening we would get eaten by mosquitoes or dive bombed by june bugs. The space had a lot of potential, though, and we decided we would be more likely to use it if it was screened in. This way it would stay cleaner (no more chickens), be bug free and just feel a bit nicer and more “finished”.
With my parents help, we installed railings with shelves on top all the way around, put in two door frames and screened everything in. Overall it was a bit less expensive than I’d expected, but also a bit more work. We used this tutorial, which was very helpful for the railings.
Once the porch was screened in we realized that it was no longer an ideal space to keep the grills. Now it was so nice and neat, and the grills are so big and ugly and in the way. Plus they are a pain to maneuver in and out the door and impractical to use inside the porch because if they get too close to the house or the screen the heat can cause damage.
The solution? A stone patio off the side of the porch! After doing some research and price matching we decided the best way to get an attractive patio is to use a cement mold to do a faux-stone design.
We’ve just started this project. The first step was to de-sod the area (surprisingly hard work!!), and cover the surface with sand, leveling it in the process. We are almost done with this step. Once that is done we’ll pour cement into the mold, let it set for a minute or two, then remove the mold and shape the edges with a trowel before moving the mold over a space and re-filling it. Once the whole area is covered we’ll let the cement dry and then we will paint it with cement stain. We are thinking about using a lime-stone color, maybe with a sand color mixed in to make it look more like stone. The final touch will be to fill in the spaces between the “stones” with sand. Hopefully the finished patio will have the look of stone but at a fraction of the cost! We were inspired by several patios/walkways I saw on Pinterest that had been done with a similar mold, like this one.